Repair a Torn Belt Loop





Introduction: Repair a Torn Belt Loop

About: I run Neal's CNC in Hayward, CA, an expert CNC cutting and fabrication service. Check out what we do at I'm a founding member of Noisebridge, a hackerspace in San Francisco, and Ac...

I tend to wear a good pair of jeans to death, and a common failure point is that a belt loop comes off. Generally this is not due to the stitching coming out, as many tears are. On belt loops, what usually happens is that the fabric of the pants fails at the point where the loop is attached, and rips a hole. This is, however, mendable with very little effort, in ten minutes or so.

Step 1: Reinforce the Pants

Get a small piece of sturdy woven fabric and cut a backing piece. This should be about an inch or an inch & a half on each side, and cut diagonally, so that the edges will not ravel.

Pin this to the back of your pants, over the area where the hole is.

Using thread that matches the pants (or highly contrasting thread if you prefer), stitch around the hole, avoiding the pins, then back and forth across the torn area. Use the sewing machine's reverse function, angling the line slightly each pass, so that each line of stitching is a millimeter or two apart. When you've done one direction, turn the pants 90 degrees and do a second pass. You should end up with some stitching that looks like cross-hatching, and the hole will hardly be visible any more. The last pictures show this but they are sadly blurry (my apologies).

Step 2: Stitch the Loop Back On

If you haven't already, pick out as much of the old stitching from the belt loop as possible, it may get in the way as you reattach the loop.

Stitch back and forth across the end of the loop a couple times. Then decrease the stitch length and increase the width until you have a thin, short, zig-zag stitch, and go back & forth a couple more times. Finish the stitching in the middle of the loop as the stitching is less likely to pull out there.

And that is it. The mend will likely outlast the remaining loops but of course you can re-do it as many times as you need.



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    9 Discussions


    3 months ago

    Before you began to sew a jean belt loop take the loop outside and give it a few wacks with a hammer. They are hard to get a needle through but this will make it considerably easier.

    What about using iron on patches on the inside instead of stitching it all up like that?

    2 replies

    It's really difficult to find an iron-on patch that will stay for good. I've patched many jeans with iron-on's and found that I either end up sewing the patch to the clothing (because it begins to peel off) or I simply cut up old jeans (as patches) and sew those patches on, instead, instead of wasting time on an iron-on.

    You could do that; I haven't worked too much with iron-on things because (or maybe, therefore) I don't trust the glue so much - I'd figure it would come out and pull the whole patch through the original hole. The thing about stitching back & forth is that you do a little bit of replacing the weave that was lost. Also it would be much stiffer. But if those things don't bother you, I see no reason not to use an iron-on patch.

    These are very good instructions, thanks for this. However, it would be nice if the close-up shots were in focus. It's really difficult to see what exactly is going on since the thread is so close in color to the pair of pants. It looks as if you should have used a flash.

    I'm with you, I wear my favorite Jeans until they come apart, too.  I'm not very good at sewing and my wife doesn't have the time, so I came up with a clip-on belt loop for jeans.   There is some tooling cost involved to make these, but if there is enough interest I'd be willing to put up some money and make these for anyone who wants one. I'd like to know what you think.


    I am old enough to recall when a set of Levis would last for years and not have the belt loops rip out or develop holes over the the top inside corners of the pockets. The fabric was tougher and resisted this kid of wear. (The only ones I've found that don't do this are Carhart and this isn't a plug, just the way it is.) It seems now though around wash #25 you need to be very conscious of pulling up your jeans by the belt loops or....."Surprise!", failure that your repair addresses. Sometimes they don't even last that long! Nice instructable and one I've got use for on 3 pairs unfortunately.

    1 reply

    Luckily I was born without the instinct to pull on my belt loops. Though evey pair of jeans I own (my lucky jeans being the only exception) are patched to hell for other reasons.

    Cool. you forgot one minor detail. use a havy duty or denim needle...